Iranian student causes mass chaos by looking exactly like Lionel Messi

0:36 | Planet Futbol
Lionel Messi has doppelgänger in Iran
Monday May 8th, 2017

Iranian police hauled Reza Parastesh off to jail this weekend. His crime? Looking like a spitting image of the world’s most famous soccer player, Lionel Messi. 

Well, not exactly. According to The Telegraph, Parastesh was “rushed into a [police] station” and had his car impounded so the cops could clear traffic after a horde of rabid selfie-seeking fans caused utter chaos in the streets of Hamadan. 

Parastesh, a 25-year-old student, doesn’t just look like Messi by accident (in case the Barcelona jersey didn’t give it away). His father encouraged him a few months ago to send a few photos to a sports website and he’s been a sensation ever since. 

AFP/Getty Images
Follow SI Wrestling on Facebook

“Now people really see me as the Iranian Messi and want me to mimic everything he does. When I show up somewhere, people are really shocked,” Parastesh told the AFP. “I’m really happy that seeing me makes them happy and this happiness gives me a lot of energy.”

You have to wonder how the original “Iranian Messi,” Sardar Azmoun, feels about this. 

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.